August 1, 2023

Sitrep for July 31-August 1, 2023 (as of 11:30 a.m.)

Strikes on Ukrainian and Russian Territory

According to updated information, the July 31 missile strike that hit a residential building in Kryvyi Rih resulted in six deaths and over 80 injuries. Search and rescue operations have now concluded.

A projectile hit a private house in the village of Predtechyne, Kostiantynivka community, on July 30, killing one man. Kostiantynivka later came under artillery fire, leading to two people injured.

On the evening of July 31, Russian forces attacked Kherson, resulting in four people dead and 17 injured.

On the night of Aug. 1, an education facility in Kharkiv was hit by two Shahed loitering munitions, without causing any casualties. It is worth noting that educational facilities, particularly schools, tend to be convenient for military use, as they most often are built away from residential buildings, and typically have gymnasiums that can accommodate large numbers of troops. However, it remains unclear whether the education facility that has been hit was actually serving a military purpose. Analysts from Bellingcat, in collaboration with the Centre for Information Resilience and GeoConfirmed, have prepared a review of Russian strikes on educational institutions.

Three persons have been killed and 15 wounded in a strike on the occupied village of Basan, Zaporizhzhia region.

Ukrainian forces also carried out a strike on Donetsk: a passenger bus caught fire in the city’s Voroshylovskyi district, killing one man; another victim has also been reported in the Kuibyshevskyi district, where houses were damaged. The occupation authorities are claiming  that an OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile was used in one case and HIMARS MLRS in the other.

Two water tanker trucks in camouflage livery were hit outside Krasna Polyana settlement, Donetsk, the drivers were killed. It is possible they could have been mistaken for fuel trucks.

Once again, loitering munitions have reached Moscow, with one of them hitting the already damaged Moscow City business center tower, but this time its 21st floor. Some companies (such as Yandex) with offices nearby have prohibited their employees from working at night.

Frontline Situation Update

Earlier, during an advance on the Svatove axis, Russian forces managed to capture not only Karmazynivka village but also the villages of Nadiya and Novoyehorivka. Reports suggest that Ukrainian forces counterattacked and regained control over these two villages. However visual confirmation is yet to be provided.

Footage has emerged of a visit by Chief of the RuAF General Staff General Valery Gerasimov to  forward positions on the Zaporizhzhia axis. The available footage will be geo-located later to determine how close to the frontline he traveled. It cannot be ruled out that the video was filmed a while ago.

Russian authorities have repeatedly given instructions to strengthen the protection of the Crimean Bridge. For example, barges with corner reflectors have been positioned near it, designed to create interference for radar-guided missiles. Now, containment booms have been installed to protect against unmanned watercraft. We assume a waterway has been left open for ships, which is easier to monitor and defend.

On July 29, the AFU hit the Chonhar railway bridge in the northern part of Crimea, however verifying this through available satellite imagery has proved challenging. A photo from the ground later emerged, showing a direct missile hit near the embankment at the northern edge of the bridge, damaging the tracks. However, it appears that they could be quickly repaired.

In the Sumy region, Ukrainian soldiers discovered an abandoned Russian T-80U tank in the yard of a local resident. The tank had been concealed there for about a year (the motives of the local resident are unclear).

In Russia, attempts to set fire to draft offices have been occurring almost daily. Over the past month, approximately half of the arsonists claimed that their actions were coordinated by some individuals over the phone, who compelled them to commit the arson.

During the past 24 hours, these incidents have taken on a particularly widespread nature. On July 31, attempts to set fire to 11 draft offices in different regions were documented: Mozhaysk, Rossosh, Kazan, Omsk, Saint Petersburg, Podolsk, Kaluga, Verkhneuralsk, and Kopeysk.

Pro-Wagner Telegram channels continue to post photographs of Wagner Group instructors training Belarusian military personnel. The most recent photographs show mercenaries with weapons. It is unclear whether those small arms were given only for the duration of the training or the Belarusian side has started arming the Wagner Group.

The New York Times has published an extensive report on Ukrainian loitering munitions, describing their various modifications. By studying flight videos, prototype photographs, and fragments on the ground, journalists have concluded that at least three of the drones used in attacks on Russian territory (including Moscow) were designed in Ukraine. One theory suggests that the drones are not launched from afar but from the Moscow region or a neighboring region (although they could also have flown from the border with Ukraine).